The ClearWalker Comes to Life

Jeremy S. Cook
2 years agoRobotics

Though I usually write about other people’s projects here, I’m an avid hacker/DIYer/Maker myself. I love building new contraptions, and after being introduced to the Strandbeest several years ago, I decided to build one… then several more. To date, I’ve created five Strandbeest-style walkers, three of which could actually walk on their own.

Today though, I’m happy to announce my latest, and most ambitious ‘beest, the “ClearWalker.” As seen on Hackster.io, this definitely was a “!! Super Hard” project. It’s described there as taking over 12 days, but perhaps “over 288 hours” would better convey how long it took to bring to life.

The ClearWalker is made out of clear polycarbonate, producing its unique look. Control is accomplished via a smartphone app, and an HC-05 Bluetooth module linked up to an Arduino Mega. This board then controls two H-bridge relay modules to control the direction of motors on each side. This allows the legs on one side to turn in a different manner than the other, meaning it can go forwards, backwards, or turn.

Strips of LED lights are attached to each of the legs and the polycarbonate tubing tail, and the head contains an LED matrix and NeoPixel ring, helping the ClearWalker look spectacular in low-light environments.

You can see the electronics portion of the build in the video below, along with results filmed by PJ Accetturo at the Dunedin Causeway, in Dunedin Florida at low tide.

For the other build videos, and a few more details, you can see that on the Hackster page listed above. You can also check out the ClearWalker YouTube playlist to see this design’s various iterations, successes, and failures.

robots
Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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